Cristina’s passion for rugby started from her first game, playing at University, in New Brunswick, Canada in 1979. When she moved to Southern Ontario in 1983, there were no women playing rugby, so she joined the St. Catharines Rugby Club Board and became the Fixtures Secretary.
After having her three children, she attended McMaster University for her 2nd degree and started to play again with the University’s rugby club and with the Hamilton Hornets Rugby Club, going on to win the Niagara Rugby Union (NRU) championships three years in a row.
In 1997, the Hamilton Hornets hosted the PARA (Pan-American rugby Association tournament), and Cristina’s languages came in handy when she became the Canadian Liaison for the Uruguay and Argentina Teams.
She then joined the NRU Board of Directors and went on to Chair the Organizing Committee for the Canadian Women’s National Championships for the next three years. Cristina is still involved with Kit Aid and raising money for Women’s rugby in Canada and Mexico.
She still plays touch rugby with the Niagara Old Boys. Coaching: Ancaster High school, and Appleby College, in Ontario
2006-2008 Mexican Rugby Federation Board Director at large
2000-2003 Rugby Canada Board Director
2004-2006 Ontario Rugby Union Board Director
2001-2003 Canadian Rugby Board representative to the North American/West Indies Rugby Assoc. (NAWIRA)
2002- Advisor in the interpretation of various documents including North America and the Caribbean NAWIRA Charter of Rights
1996-2000 Niagara Rugby Board
What position did you play and for how many seasons?
I played wing my first season, and my second season until the hooker got her nose smashed playing in a tournament against Boston Women (they were enormous, and I weighed 92lbs) and they put me at hook, no experience! The next day I couldn’t move, but got hooked (pun intended), and have played prop and flanker when needed, but love 1st contact as a hooker!
What club(s), teams and countries did you play for?
St. Thomas University, McMaster University Club side, Hamilton Hornets, Sub’d as hooker for Manitoba and Newfoundland, Town of Mount Royal in Montreal, Oakville Crusaders and Burlington Old Boys.
What five words would you use to describe rugby?
Fun, respect, discipline, camaraderie, caring.
Who are your all-time three favourite players?
Jonah Lomu, whom I sat next to at the Rugby World Cup & in Argentina, 2001, and was a gentle giant, a true gentleman
Daniela Rosales, from Mexico’s Serpientes, for her endurance and determination
What is the best game of rugby you have ever seen in-person?
Rugby World Cup 2019 Final in Japan – England vs South Africa
What is your favourite rugby memory?
My kids watched my team and I win the Niagara Rugby Union Tournament, aged 44.
What advice would you give a young athlete looking to pick up a rugby ball?
Just go with it, the rest will follow
What are your hopes for RAN in the next 3 years?
To have the highest rugby development from all the regions. We are already the best organized. Oh yes, if we could get a massive sponsorship.
If you could bring one international rugby event to our region, what would it be, where and why?
Rugby World Cup in the USA, and would include some games in Mexico and Canada
What is your all-time favourite rugby tradition?
Rugby songs and what the French and Spaniards call the 3rd period (beer-up)
Tell me about a time where you witnessed Rugby’s Core Values.
Every week at my rugby clubs and I practice them in my everyday life
Why is rugby the greatest sport on the planet?
It’s a game of intelligence, discipline aggression and teamwork
Tell me about a time you scored a try, made a try-saving tackle or helped your team win a big game.
Playing old boys rugby, I went to tackle a great big old guy and he was so surprised he tripped, fell over, I picked up the ball and ran the other way and scored.
If you could have dinner with any – alive or deceased – rugby person, who would it be and why?
I already did, Jonah Lomu
Who is one Hollywood celebrity that you would like to see play rugby?
Clint Eastwood, he totally would have had the right attitude.